Your Dental Visit
Removing Plaque & Tartar With A Teeth Cleaning
As time goes by, plaque that is allowed to sit on your teeth eventually hardens into bacteria harboring tartar. Tartar reacts with the foods you eat and leads to tooth decay. Not only that, the bacteria in tartar can start to smell and is a common cause of bad breath.
During your dental checkup, we use a special tooth scaling tool that is used to effectively remove the hard build-up of tartar. This process is most commonly known as tooth scaling. Scaling will remove tartar build-up on the front and back surfaces of your teeth, just above the gum-line. Sometimes, we may detect tartar working its way below the gum line. In these cases, root planing, also known as a deep cleaning is necessary to remove this tartar from the tooth's root.
It is recommended to have a full set of dental x-rays taken once a year during a regular dental checkup. Most dental insurance plans will cover the cost of x-rays taken once a year and should not be skipped out on. Dental x-rays will expose any problems that might be currently present and can be used to prevent problems that may occur in the near future. Tooth roots, jaw bone and sinuses are all visible with a quick x-ray which allows us to detect problems with the bone surrounding teeth and even allow us to see teeth that have not erupted such as permanent teeth in children or wisdom teeth in adults.
Safe, Digital X-rays
We use modern digital x-rays that use an extremely low level of radiation to create an x-ray. Digital x-rays also eliminate x-ray films from having to be developed which also minimizes the time you spend in our dental chair.
Fluoride, a substance that's found naturally in water, plays an important role in healthy tooth development and cavity prevention.
Fluoride combats tooth decay in two ways:
- It strengthens tooth enamel, a hard and shiny substance that protects the teeth, so that it can better resist the acid formed by plaque.
- Fluoride allows teeth damaged by acid to repair, or re-mineralize, themselves.
Fluoride cannot repair cavities, but it can reverse low levels of tooth decay and thus prevent new cavities from forming.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that these fluoride supplements be given daily to children between the ages of 6 months and 16 years. The dosage will change as your child grows. Only children living in non-fluoridated areas or children who drink only non-fluoridated bottled water should receive supplements.
Most children get the right amount of fluoride through a combination of fluoridated toothpaste and fluoridated water or supplements. Too much fluoride before 8 years of age can cause enamel fluorosis, a discoloration or mottling of the permanent teeth. This condition is unsightly but harmless and often can be treated with cosmetic procedures.
Applying Dental Sealants
Sealants are one of the easiest preventive dental procedures that can be done. Sealing your teeth can be done in a single dental visit and is entirely painless!
We will first thoroughly clean and dry teeth that are going to be sealed. Generally, gauze and/or cotton will be placed around the tooth to prevent moisture collecting on the tooth. A clean and dry tooth is essential for the sealant material to properly adhere.
Next, a mild acid is applied to the chewing surface of the tooth. This will roughen the surface layer of the tooth's enamel and will provide an optimal surface for the sealant material to bond to.
The tooth will be rinsed with water and dried a final time before the sealant is placed.
Dental sealant material is a plastic-like material that is brushed onto the tooth's chewing services. This liquid-like material will sink into the nooks and crannies within the chewing surface and start bonding directly to the enamel layer of the tooth. We will use a special blue curing light that hardens the sealant.
That's it! Your tooth is now sealed off from harmful plaque and bacteria.
Added Protection Against Tooth Decay
Decay generally happens in premolars and molars due to the build-up of bacteria within the crevices of the tooth's biting surface. Even with proper oral hygiene, bacteria within these deep crevices is extremely hard to brush out and can allow plaque and bacteria to form thus leading to a cavity, which then needs to be filled.
Dental sealants effectively create a protective layer over a tooth's biting surface by sealing off tooth crevices making it impossible for plaque and bacteria to form. Dental sealants also make brushing these teeth much more effective which also keeps the cavities away.
Dental sealants are for everyone so we invite you to request an appointment and come in to talk more with us about getting dental sealants.
How Long Do Tooth Sealants Last?
Dental sealants are very hard and stand up well against normal biting and chewing forces. Sealants can last as long as 10 years without needing to be replaced; however, during a regular dental checkup we will check your sealants for any chipping or excessive wearing. Dental sealants in need of replacement can generally be done on-the-spot as necessary.